On Tuesday, the Kansas City Chiefs waived WR Marcus Kemp from the 53-man roster for the second time this season. Instead of landing back on the team’s practice squad once more, the 25-year-old wideout cleared waivers on Wednesday and was signed to the Miami Dolphins practice squad.
The move, first reported by Chiefs Digest beat writer Matt Derrick, has not been officially announced by the club but is expected to hit the NFL’s official transaction wire on Thursday.
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Marcus Kemp Carved out Depth, Special Teams Role
The 6-foot-4-inch, 210-pound pass-catcher has been a valuable depth piece for the defending Super Bowl champions in his fourth year as a pro, remaining on the active roster in light of injuries to Sammy Watkins and Byron Pringle, as well as Mecole Hardman’s extended COVID-19 absence in recent weeks.
While Kemp has only caught one ball for 11 yards in 10 games this season, he had carved out a sizeable role on the Chiefs’ special teams unit.
He originally joined Kansas City as an undrafted free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft, but hauled in just one reception through his first two years with the Chiefs. After suffering a torn ACL and MCL in a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019, Kemp was forced to miss the entire season recovering from the brutal knee injuries.
As a result of Kemp’s release and the Steelers also poaching veteran OL Danny Isidora from the practice squad on Tuesday, the Chiefs now have three roster spots to fill (one on the 53-man roster) heading into their Week 15 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
Kemp will join a trio of receivers — Matt Cole, Isaiah Ford and Andre Patton — on the Dolphins practice squad and is eligible to be called up to their gameday roster twice in the final three weeks of the regular season.
Byron Pringle Returns, Tyreek Hill ‘Fine’ for Week 15
On Wednesday, the Chiefs announced that WR Byron Pringle had returned to practice after being designated to return from the injured reserve list, where the 27-year-old spent the last three weeks rehabbing an ankle injury suffered in a Week 11 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
The move, which was likely the driving factor in making Kemp expendable, now gives the team three additional weeks to evaluate Pringle in practice before deciding whether to transition him back to the 53-man roster.
Now in his third year with the team, the 2018 undrafted free agent has carved out a niche role behind veterans Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson, recording 9 receptions for 108 yards in 10 games (2 starts) this season. While the injury setback will all but likely prevent Pringle from surpassing his career highs set in 2019, the former Kansas State product had shown signs of development earlier in the year.
In another round of good news for the Chiefs receiving corps, the aforementioned Hill has been deemed “fine” to play in Week 15, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Monday.
The speedster appeared to pull up lame holding his leg late in last Sunday’s win over the Dolphins, but thankfully it was a cramp to blame rather than a more significant hamstring or leg injury.
Hill and company will face a tough test on Sunday against a New Orleans Saints defense allowing the second-fewest yards per game (298.4) to opponents to date. The 25-year-old, who currently leads the NFL in scrimmage touchdowns (16), will look to keep pace with teammate Travis Kelce in the chase for the league’s most receiving yards.
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!